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Fire In The Ham | Jack's Abby Brewing

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BA SCORE
88
very good
63 Reviews
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Fire In The HamFire In The Ham
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
jacksabbybrewing.com

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Caution! This is an intensely smokey lager similar to those found in Bamberg, Germany. Most of this brew's malt was dried over flaming beechwood, which ingrains unique smokey flavors. Aromas of campfires, smoked ham, and bacon dominate a soft malt and hop backbone. Although hard to believe, this beer is vegan friendly.

20 IBU

Added by irishevans on 10-17-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
63
Ratings:
324
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
28.28%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
35
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 324
Photo of cavedave
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark gold slightly cloudy gem of a beer with a huge white topper that kicks back pretty quickly to a lasting cap and thick ring.

Smell is all about smoke and lager yeast. Some bready and grainy malt notes are minor players but fill the aroma out to a delicious, medium strength bouquet.

Wow actual fire and ham taste in this. Quite smoky, very strong and complex smoke flavors, sharp and acrid smoke notes are present, and also softer and meatier notes too. It carries some sweet and crispy grain, and the lager yeast flavors give it a nice counterpoint of light rounded tart. End of sip features strong smoke notes and light hoppy bitter. Clean, delicious.

Light in the mouth, little smoky resin buildup despite the huge amount of that flavor, bright carbonation, strong and long lingering finish.

A delightful and very smoky beer that never goes too far to be enjoyable. Tasty and recommended.

 915 characters

Photo of Beric
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap at Meadhall in Cambridge, MA, in a .5L Jack's Abby krug
Served: 8 Oct 2016

Appearance: Pours a beautiful yellow with a light, frothy white head. Really a great looking beer.

Smell: Sweet malts and slight wood smokiness. Not too meaty in my opinion.

Taste: Very subtle on the smoke, and the smoke has a good character to it. Think more campfire than slab bacon. Soft sweetness to the malt. A pinch of breadiness from what I imagine is a Helles underlyingly.

Mouthfeel: This is the biggest complaint I have against this beer- it feels thin after a while. While Schlenkerla beers feel nice and substantial all the way through, this one starts feeling watery if it sits too long.

Overall: A good beer and one that I feel could introduce a lot of people to the style done well. I think this beer is one step up from Schlenkerla Lagerbier and one step below many of their smokier options.

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Photo of PDonahue92
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.25

a wonderfully smoky beer that tastes like texas bbq in your mouth.

Look: clear golden hue w/ nice light white head
Smell: Woody, Smoke, Bacon, Smoke Pork Butt
Taste: Malt sweetness, Smokey notes like smoked meat, light bitterness
Finish: still medium in length, smokey, mouth-coating
Overall: A wonderfully balanced Rauchbier with a well balance of smoked malt, malt sweetness, and hop bitterness. Would Pair well with Smoked Meats, Baked Beans, and Chilis.

Served: Bottle and Tulip

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Photo of CayseyW
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok, so I don't even really know how to score this beer. It's admittedly like nothing I've ever had--smoked or otherwise. It's a fantastic looking lager, very true to style. The smell is what my clothes smell like after a week of camping--a mix of baked-in campfire smoke and dried beer. I definitely pick up the hints of bacon described by the brewer as well. It's an interesting aroma but it's also a little strange. Smoke smacks your tongue immediately, nearly overwhelmingly. It smooths out a bit and you get more bright, clean lager notes. The finish is a bit rough. It actually reminds me of the taste reminds me of a wet lit cigarette... probably something only smokers (or former in my case) can truly understand. If the finish were better I would have rated taste much higher because I actually enjoy the rest and to compensate I kept drinking it until it was gone. In terms of the feel, and finish aside, it's excellent. Very nice body that's well carbed and very drinkable, which is good since you need to keep tipping this back if you want to avoid the rough finish. Overall this is a really neat beer that I'm glad I tried. Would I buy it again... maybe, but only if I was sharing it with someone who hadn't tried it.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

slightly hazed golden orange appearance. a two finger head recedes quickly.

nose is probably the best part. big smokey character ... getting what seems like smokey ham and malts.

taste is mostly smoked malts. decent feel on it, slightly watery.

overall its a good beer that is very interesting. really glad to have tried it but i probably wont be reaching for another one too quickly.

 389 characters

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a glass at the Evergreen in Syracuse. Overall, a great smoked beer that you could pour next to a Schlenkerla. Rich smoked malt up front, followed by fruity easter and a toasty malts.

 186 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle. Pours a slightly hazy darkish yellow with an inch of head. Lots of lacing. Smokey, earthy aroma with lots of burnt wood, ham, bacon and malts. The taste isn't as smokey as I'd hoped. Somewhat lighter and watery. Salted and cured meat, ham, bacon and the smoked malt flavors, but not as in your face as I like in a Rauchbier. Cherrywood and meaty finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Almost tastes like a Pilsner with some meat added to it. Overall, not great but not bad.

 474 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.25] Dense packed 2 fingers of white head. Really tight bubbles look creamy. Cloudy apricot colored brew. The bottle lists the ABV (5.4%). I can't find any date info.

S: [3.75] Ever sit by a campfire all night then drop your sweatshirt on the floor before you go to bed... then put that sweatshirt on the next morning? That smell. Campfire. Burning oak. Bacon wafting from breakfast. There are some malty/bready tones under all of that.

T: [3.75] Pretty close to the nose. Dominated by the smokey bacon flavor. There is a bit of a malt backbone in there giving a bit of balance and sweetness.

M: [3.75] Decent body and carbonation. The finish is crisp.

O: [3.75] Like a nice lager with a bacon ice cube - in a good way! This might be a polarizing beer that you either love or hate. I really like it. I am a big fan of Jack's Abby Cloak and Dagger (another smoked beer). This is another winner - if you enjoy the style.

 943 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smokiness at an appealing level of taste and smell. This does not overwhelm the palate with smoked peat like malt but gives a dose of smoke that actually accentuates the clean fresh malt forward beer. This naturally paired well with many foods like chicken, BBQ, pizza, aged cheeses etc.

 287 characters

Photo of ScaryEd
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy, light golden color with a creamy pure-white head, with just the slightest bit of lacing.

The aroma is smoked hickory ham, with some notes of cloves and a hint of citrus.

The taste is lightly smokey, with notes of banana and ham (what an odd combination, but that's what I get) as well as a sweet malt character on the back end. Very crisp and a bit dry.

The feel is a bit heavier than expected with medium carbonation. Relatively smooth, with no alcohol present.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. I'm not overly familiar with Rauchbiers but it's an interesting concept and I definitely enjoy the smokey character found throughout the nose and the flavor.

 681 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on draft at Parker Pie after a trip to Hill Farmstead.

This beer is a novelty drink that you order once just to say that you have tried it.

The nose and flavor are all smoke, which by association reminds you of ham, but there is not a whole lot going on with this beer.

 280 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Weird! Now I've had a Rauchbier from Schlenkerla before but forgot to log it on BA. This one was just plain weird. Poured a nice and clear Pale yellow with a nice white head. The nose is of mild smoke character and a bit porky. Smoked ham, bacon and sausage. The taste is just a more intense version of the nose. Very porky with tons of ham and piggy character. Smoke is everywhere, very campfire like. It is surprisingly well balanced, tasty and highly drinkable. It isn't as smokey as the one I tried years ago and I'd love to give that one another go but this was a nice beer and my first from Jacks Abby.

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Photo of Roguer
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly clear, orange-tinged amber brew, topped by a modest white head with excellent retention.

Aroma is nearly all smoke, with a bit of caramel malt and grain in the background.

Flavor follows, albeit more nuanced than the aroma. Still, the smoke dominates, in a way that is far from unpleasant, but also doesn't really allow the non-smoke flavors room to breathe.

Extremely drinkable and smooth.

 406 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a 0.5l bottle of this ($4.49) in Winooski VT and quaffed it last eve (22AUG15) while watching Good Will Hunting.

It was a light to medium golden color, with a scattered amount of carbo heading topside. Seemed rather light for the style, closer to a Spezial than a Schlenkerla, for sure. Head was a 1/4" layer of creaminess which lasted decently. Lacing was there, though on the light side. Nose was wonderful, with a big hit of smoked beechwood wafting forth. Felt fairly smooth going down, though the body was a smidge thinner than medium.

Flavor had a light hit of bready malt, with some subtle caramel sweetness present. The rauch character, though, was solid all the way. The finish, like a good rauch should, was dry all the way. Was smokier than the subtlety of Spezial, though not in the class of Schlenkerla. A pretty good rendition, overall. Prosit!!

4.04/5 rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1748

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Photo of Greatheil
3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.25

Pale gold, slightly hazy. Faint aroma, no smoke, a little nutty with a bit of what might be peach. Taste is quite sweet. White bread, banana, with lemon or grapefruit notes. Reminds me a bit of a saison or wit. It's very tasty, except I get no smoke. If it's subtle, it's too subtle especially since their own description touts it as "intensely smokey". I get a good bit of it in the finish, but that's just not good enough.

Good price tho. You should try it, just don't expect it to taste like an Aecht schlenkerla.

 527 characters

Photo of -Rick
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours a reddish brown color. Smells like straight up bacon being cooked over a camp fire. The tastes are smokey sausage, with a little malty sweetness. I am sure this beer is not for everyone, but I loved it!

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Photo of markdrinksbeer
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Too smokey for me. I've had other rauchbiers and this was just over the top smokey. It overpowered the beer and made it seem like I was drinking a bottle of liquid smoke.

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Photo of abagofit
4.66/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review is based on the description, as I have never had another rauchbier to compare to.

WOW! Tastes like smoked ham wrapped in smoked bacon. That's really all there is to say about this beer. Very unique, never had anything like it. Smoke flavor is not overpowering like other smokey beers I've had. Not something I could drink that often, but something I would definitely encourage everyone to try at least once.

 421 characters

Photo of AirBob
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Notes from 9/29

A - Three fingers of fizzy white head. Slightly hazy apple juice colored body. So-so head retention and lacing.

S - Sweet maltiness. Subtle smoke notes like a wood burning stove or smoker.

T - More sweet breadiness and some orange/honey sweetness. Touch of smoke. Finish is intensely smokey like a camp fire.

M - Lighter body and medium carbonation.

O- Way more balanced than I expected after reading reviews. The smoke is intense and unique, but not as intense as advertised in my opinion.

 518 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a light yellow, almost a pale straw. one to two fingers of a white head with strong retention and a good lacing. good crystal clear lager look.

Smell: smokey ham and bacon, some malty sweetness.

Taste: opens with some slight sweetness, quickly becomes a balance salty, smokey ham to bacon taste. hints at pilsner malt sweetness throughout.

Mouthfeel: light, salty and dry.

Overall: this is usually one of my least favorite styles as it can easily become overly meaty, but this one balances out quite nicely. the smokiness is delicate as it should be and the malts provide just enough sweetness to balance everything out.

 642 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

From 09/16/14 notes. 0.5L pour in a mug at Lord Hobo up in MA.

Pours a murky bright yellow-amber color with one inch of white head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Smells of smoke, bacon, ham, roasted malts, charcoal. Tastes has more meat and smoke to it. Medium body and low to no carbonation. Smooth.

Overall a nice beer but .5 of a Liter was way too much for me; I'd have to cap it at 4-6 oz. personally. If you love super smokey beers check it out but a bit too much for me to want a full glass of again.

 519 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

This is a fine Rauchbier, but far from the caution advertised, and hoped for. Smoke is clear, but subdued IMO. By all other counts this is a fine beer for a crisp Autumn day. Even if it is still the 13th of September.

A grilled McCadam cheddar, horseradish dill havarti on multi grain bread with tomato cheddar bisque, definitely helped bring out the earthiness of this beer.

 380 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%

On tap at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a surprisingly lighter golden amber color, wouldn't expect a smoked beer to be like this. There's a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like bacon, ham, and smoke, plus honey and molasses.

The taste is similar, they really nailed the smoked meat flavor, it really does taste like bacon and ham. It's a little bit sweet, got a bit of a honey and molasses flavor, with smoke as well. There's no real hop flavor, but there is an oiliness to it.

This one is light, with a medium amount of carbonation, and a fairly crisp mouthfeel

It's a little bit too meaty for its lighter body, beef up the malts a bit and this would be better.

 709 characters

Photo of Durge
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This specialty brew is a cloudy golden hue with a respectable white cover and very little to show for lacing. The aroma offers a clear perfume of hickory smoke with a subtle ham and wheat idea to inspire the palate. And the flavor follows but my first impression is that it's a bit watered down from what the aroma suggested. In fact this brew seems to be aiming for a lighter, sessionable appeal with a decidedly frisky feel from pin point carbonation and a generally medium-light body. This is solid stuff that will translate very well into the summer months or to accompany an appropriate meal, but the flavor hits up front and then seems to quickly dissipate into the heavy carbonation. Likeable enough, one I'd definitely drink again, but not a show stopper creation as some of these Abby beers are. However, I don't think they were aiming for that anyway.

 861 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks go out to Yamar 18 for this bottle....cheers, Kevin!

It pours a hazy straw gold with a couple of inches of foam, some awesome lacing left behind as the foam shrinks slowly.

It smells like a lovely breakfast minus the eggs; smoked ham, big on bacon aromas, it has my attention 100%.

Tastes just like what I smelled. Big bacon, ham, yeah, the smoke IS intense and is not for the timid but I've never been accused of being timid. It comes in a 16.9 oz bottle and I'm sure, after I'm finished, I would not yearn for another but that's no slant on the brew at all. Sometimes one and done works.

Medium bodied with perfect carbonation.

This beer was, as I have finished, a real treat for me. Thanks again, Kevin!

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Fire In The Ham from Jack's Abby Brewing
3.96 out of 5 based on 324 ratings.
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